Archive by Author

Meal Time~Part 2

22 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I’ve mentioned in other posts that daddy was a deer hunter in the winter.  We ate a lot of venison in my growing-up years.  You must understand…MOST people who work in church-related work don’t make a lot of money.  Therefore, the meat daddy provided through his hunting kept our family going.

 

 

The deer in the New Mexico mountains feasted on the good stuff – pine nuts.  The meat was always sweet, whereas the deer in Texas usually had their meals on milkweed, which gave it a bitter taste.  The Texas venison had to be marinated in milk or something else to get rid of that taste.  But we didn’t have to do that in New Mexico.  Again, there was no waste to the deer.  We had steaks, roasts, and hamburger-style meat (ground venison).  With the ground venison, mother would make chili.  She had a great recipe for that, but I’ve never been able to duplicate her chili.  I’ve tried several times, with regular ground beef, but it just doesn’t taste the same.  The flavor of the venison was unique to the chili, I guess.

There was one time, while Fred and I were living in Texas, that a friend had bagged his deer, but wanted another, so he gave us that first one.  Since we had helped daddy butcher his deer before, we knew how to butcher this one – which we did.  A good friend let us store the venison in their freezer – taking out what we wanted when we wanted it.  One Thanksgiving, we took out a “ham” and had it smoked by a bbq restaurant in town. It was really good eating!

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, mother would make a cranberry salad as a side dish.  She mixed the chopped cranberries with chopped walnuts or pecans, orange, and other items, in a gelatin, put it all in small forms, then let it “jell.”  It had a sweet taste that countered the tart cranberries, and was quite good.

 

After Fred and I had been married for a few years, I tried my hand at roasting a turkey.

 

Credit Google Search

 

I set to work on the “dressing or stuffing.” Unfortunately, I cannot – to this day – remember what kind of  stuffing mother made.  Since daddy was from Louisiana, I suspect that she made a cornbread dressing (with chopped onions and chopped celery), but I don’t remember.  I’ve asked my brother, Bill, and he can’t remember, either. So, I learned to make a bread dressing, New England style, from Fred’s mother.  We all like it – including our daughters.  If we are at a family meal where cornbread dressing is served, they always ask me to also make a dish of bread dressing for them.   It has become their favorite.

I remember there was a time when mother would make bread from scratch.  It smelled soooooo good baking, that I could hardly wait for it come out of the oven! I would cut it almost immediately – which was hard to do without squishing it – and slather it with butter and eat it right away.

 

Credit Google Search and Pinterest

 

She complained so often that we hardly had left any for the sandwiches she wanted to make.  Fortunately, it was a good-natured complaining.  But she was a working woman, and probably didn’t have time to make bread very often.  I’ve tried my hand at it, and while I love the fresh bread taste, it’s a lot of work. But it’s a fun memory.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.


Meal Time~Part 1

15 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I can remember the time of my life when eating out was a special time.  It was just assumed that we would be eating at home, no matter what meal it was.  I really don’t remember eating “out” very often – more as I became a teenager – but still not very often.

I just remember my mother being in the kitchen a lot, cooking.  It’s funny that she never really just sat me down and taught me how to cook anything.

I do remember one of my best friends, Mary, who was an only child.  Her mother had her cooking full meals by the time she was eight years old!  I used to think that was really a hardship for her, but then her mother was a strange person, to begin with.  I guess it was for the best, however, as Mary and her husband had a small restaurant for quite a while.  And she made the best guacamole I’ve ever eaten.  She made it seem simple and easy.

Even in my early years of marriage, I remember coming home from work and make our supper.  There was almost no conversation about going out to eat.  Again, it was just assumed that we would eat at home. Of course, it didn’t help that we were early-marriage-poor and couldn’t afford to eat out very often!  We may not have had fancy meals, but they were home-cooked.  We had a lot of hamburgers, hot dogs, and – yuk – tuna casserole!  I don’t think I’ve made tuna casserole since the 1960’s!  I really over-did that meal.  But it was quick, and inexpensive, and we had it a lot.

Mother’s meals consisted often of pot roast – and she could make a roast that would just melt in your mouth!  It would fall off the bone it was so tender.  I’ve never been able to duplicate that – even when I cooked it in my pressure cooker.

 

Credit Google Search

 

So I gave up on that particular meal, and just enjoy it when we have the opportunity at a good restaurant.  Our favorite is at the Liberty Tree Inn at Magic Kingdom.  Theirs is the very best!

 

Credit Google Search/Walt Disney World – Liberty Tree Tavern lobby

 

I also remember that, if there was any roast left over, mother would grind it up, add mayonnaise and either relish or pickles and a hard boiled egg, and it became a meat salad.  Spread it on bread, and you have a lovely sandwich!  She didn’t waste anything!

 

Credit Google Search and Pleasant Hill Grain website – meat grinder

 

Mother also made really good mashed potatoes. I’ve finally found a way to make good mashed potatoes, without too many lumps in them.  We have one meal that we like with the mashed potatoes – beef tips in gravy.  Yummmm. Except for browning the meat in a skillet first, everything else is done in the Crockpot (except the potatoes, of course).  Fix it up in the morning, and it’s ready for the supper meal.  It goes quite well over good mashed potatoes!  Or egg noodles, or perhaps rice…but the potatoes are the best!

 

 

Mother mashing potatoes, Granny getting something from the cupboard

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.


A Long-Ago Memory

9 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Just recently, as Fred and I were driving along, I spied a sign that stated “Assistant Nurse Training.”  Hmmm, I thought to myself, and then voiced to Fred – “just WHAT is an ‘Assistant Nurse?’” He didn’t know, either.

And that led to a discussion between us. Might that be a candy-striper? You know, those young girls who were volunteers and wore “uniforms” or pinafores of red-and-white stripes that helped around the hospital?  And that brought a memory to me that hadn’t surfaced from my mind in many, many years. I was actually a candy-striper at one point of time in my life!

 

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia Candy stripers in training in Tallahassee, Florida, 1957

 

I remember I was in high school, but had my driver’s license, so was able to drive myself to my volunteer job.  It was after school, as I remember.  I don’t recall too many of the things I had to do, but I remember feeling quite good about the position.  According to Google, there are still candy-stripers in hospitals today, but without the pinafores – probably because there are now male students working, not just the female students.  And they are called junior volunteers.

I remember, in high school, that I thought I would go into nursing.  After flunking out of chemistry class, I realized that I really wasn’t called to that profession!

I googled the Assistant Nurse and came up with the title of “Certified Nurse Assistant ” or CNA.  The information I gleaned was written by Alison Doyle and stated best this way:

A nursing assistant’s duties revolve mostly around the basic daily physical care of patients and associated record keeping. You might help patients use the bathroom or take care of other sanitary needs. You might feed patients who cannot feed themselves, turn bed-ridden patients to prevent pressure sores, transport patients, and help ambulatory patients walk.

You might also change dressings, help with surgical prep, check vital signs and weight, and perform a basic urinalysis. If a patient summons help, you’ll be the one to find out what they need. You’ll have to keep proper records of everything you do and you’ll have to pass on your observations of your patients to your supervisor. You will also be responsible for maintaining your work at all applicable professional and legal standards.

That’s obviously more detailed than what a candy-striper does.

 

Credit Google Search and All Nursing School website

 

But that also brought up a memory from Fred – his mother was a “Gray Lady” back in the 1930’s.   Webster defines it as:  a volunteer worker of the American Red Cross who provides nonprofessional care and services for the sick and convalescent usually in hospitals.  Here is a picture of her as an in-training Gray Lady, but for the Salvation Army.

 

1936 – March 16 – Kitty in training at Salvation Army children’s hospital, NY

 

In her memoirs she stated:

  My step-mother didn’t want me home and “under foot” I guess, so she arranged for me to go for training in a Salvation Army children’s hospital in Brooklyn, New York.  I didn’t protest too much and, since your Dad-to-be could visit me some weekends, I went for the course, which was one year, leading to a glorified child care nursemaid or some such.  I never finished.  

 

She may not have finished that program, but the training she gained from that led her to be an excellent mother to her four children.

It’s amazing how a simple street sign can turn into such a discussion and search!  But what a fun and interesting memory that provoked!

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years. Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Another Amazing Serendipity

1 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Sometimes these serendipity things just bound out of nowhere, right into our line of sight.  They are such fun, and we enjoy them so much.

Just recently, we had another amazing serendipity happen.  We were heading into the parking lot at the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Country Store, when I spied a car with an advertisement on the side of the front door. What caught my eye was the name “Kathy Wills.”  There was a young lady walking away from the car, and toward the eatery.

 

Credit Google Search

 

I told Fred about it.  Now one might not think that is too life-changing, and one would be right about that.  However, it is rather unusual to see or meet someone else with the name “Wills.”

We parked and went into the restaurant. After being seated, I began searching the restaurant for the young lady I saw.  Couldn’t find her.  Shucks! So I went back to our table.  When Fred saw the car, I thought I would give another look to trying to find this young lady…and I did this time.  I stopped her and said, “I think you are who I want to talk to.”  She looked curiously at me. Then I asked if she was in the car with the “Kathy Wills” sign on it, and she said “yes.”  Then I told her that our last name is also “Wills.”

Her face lit up and she said, “really?  I’ve never known anyone else with that last name.” She seemed quite excited and delighted to find someone else with “Wills” as their last name.  She proceeded to her table, with me in tow, and she announced to her parents and brother that we were also “Wills.”  Brother seemed dis-interested.  Mom didn’t have anything to say.  But Dad and young lady were quite interested.

 

Credit Google Search and Cracker Barrel Website

 

Dad asked where our“Wills” came from.  When I said New Jersey, he said his family came from West Virginia. Probably a connection there somewhere along the line, but don’t know where.

As I left them, Dad said it was nice to meet me, and God bless.  I was most impressed.

After our meal, I took Fred to meet this family. I asked if they were from Orlando or just passing through.  They are just passing through, and live in Panama City, Florida – in the Panhandle. Well! We lived in Panama City for five years! They told us they lived just over the bridge from Tyndall AFB, where we had spent those five years!

 

Photo credit WJHG.com
 Credit Google search

 

Young lady asked if we ever get called “Willis” – and I groaned out that it was “all the time!”  Or “Wells” or even “Mills!”  They all agreed. We told them that “Wills” is an English/Scot name, and they were interested.  I told them that both of Fred’s parents were from the same Scot clan – the Gunn clan.

 

 

 

Dad said that he was considering doing a genealogy search.  I told him it was a lot of fun to do so.

It truly is a small world.  What a fun memory for us.  God is good to give us these fun times.

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

 

An Amazing Serendipity

24 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I’ve written about the serendipities that have happened in my life (or our lives). I feel they are just God’s way of giving us some unexpected joy in our lives.  As I said before – some are really momentous, some are just okay, and some are like – “what just happened?”

Recently Fred and I had an AMAZING serendipity that just blew us out of the water!

Fred and I boarded an airplane to fly to Virginia to visit our youngest daughter and her family.  That includes her husband and our grandtwins.  The twins will be 12 the end of this month, and we won’t be able to be there for that celebration.  So we had to make this visit as “celebratory” as possible.

 

Credit Google Search

 

We were sitting on the airplane, when the flight attendant came by with coffee and soft drinks.  As she was attending to the people across the aisle from us, I noticed that she was wearing a Disney pin on her apron, in the American flag colors.

 

 

 I pointed it out to Fred, and then I noticed a beautiful ring she was wearing.

 

When it came our turn for her attention, I mentioned the pin to her, and that we are huge Disney fans, that we live only 15 minutes from Disney World. She replied that she also, lived just 15 minutes from Disney World.  She looked at us and mentioned the development we live in.  When we told her our subdivision, she gave a huff and stated the subdivision SHE lives in – all within our development!  We are practically neighbors!  I then mentioned the lovely ring she was wearing – and she said it was her “Princess Diana” ring.  We had a nice conversation with her.

 

 

That was a serendipity right there!  But it doesn’t end there.

 

Just last week we were scheduled for our semi-annual dentist visit.  They had scheduled us to be seen by two different hygienist at the same time – so we could be finished at the same time, rather than us having to wait on each other.

 

Credit Google Search

 

As I was waiting for my hygienist to begin, she mentioned our address in our subdivision, from the dental chart.  She mentioned that she lived within that same development – and mentioned her subdivision.  I said, “that’s funny – I had the same conversation with a flight attendant last week on an airplane.”  After repeating the conversation we had with the flight attendant, the hygienist looked at me and asked what airline we flew with.  When I told her, she began pointing to herself!  My dental hygienist was our flight attendant!  She said she was a hygienist during the week, and was a flight attendant on the weekends.  She had wanted to be a hygienist since she was 12 years old. Then I mentioned the ring she wore on the plane – and she dug it out of her purse and put it on.

Now THAT’s an AMAZINGserendipity!  We talked all through the procedure – well, SHE talked, I just grunted every now and then, since my mouth was full of dental equipment.

When the dentist came in to check my mouth, we told him of our connection, and he was amazed, as well! 

These are such fun things!  God is so good to give us these times of our lives that bring such joy

 

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Psalm 100:1

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 8:21

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

I Remember…Cousins, Mother’s Side-Part 3

10 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Uncle Frank didn’t like to have his picture taken. We only have a few pictures of him. After Mother and Jessie died, and Bill gave me all the family pictures, I began scanning them into the computer. Jessie had a bunch of slides, and they were scanned as well.  When I told Pat about that, he requested copies of any pictures I had with Frank in them.  And I have done so.  Here are a couple of them.

 


1959 – Uncle Frank and Aunt Lillie – San Antonio, Texas

 


1959 – Uncle Frank, Aunt Lillie, my Granny – San Antonio, Texas

 

1959 – Uncle Frank – San Antonio, Texas

 

 

At least he’s smiling in this one.

 

An amusing story about that family came up when we were staying with Aunt Lillie in 1974.  You see, back in the 1940’s, Jessie owned a small diner in downtown San Antonio, Texas.  (Please see my post of November 17, 2013 –My Aunt Jessie – Part 1)

 

San Antonio, Texas – Jessie’s little diner

 

Granny made some delicious pies for that diner that were a hit with anyone who ate a slice.  My favorite – to this day – was her chocolate cream pie (we just called it Granny’s Chocolate Pie). Yummmmmmmm!  Lillie loved it, as well, and made it often for her family.  She told me that one time she had made the pie, and it looked so good that she ate a slice.  Then she wanted another slice and ate it.  Then she realized that her boys would know that she had eaten so much of it, so she ate THE ENTIRE REST OF THE PIE!  And made a second pie for the family.  When I told Pat this story in 2001, he said “I didn’t know that.”  I said:  “she didn’t want you to know!”

One more thing about Aunt Lillie – she was a great cook!  As a matter of fact, she was a cook at an elementary school near her house.  When we were staying with her in 1971, she saw that we ate a Sara Lee Coffee Cake nearly every morning.  When she noticed that we were discarding the foil containers the coffee cake came in, she asked if we would save them for her.  Seems that road workers would come into the school and purchase a lunch from them, because the food was so good, but she had nothing to put the food in.  So our little foil containers were just what she needed.

For a time, Pat and his wife, Lee, lived in Albuquerque.  Actually in Rio Rancho, just outside the main city of Albuquerque, on the west mesa. On one of our visits there, Fred and I agreed to meet them at La Placita Mexican Restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque. Later, Pat said that, when they moved back to Texas, he could see Lee’s fingernail grooves in the road all the way! She really loved New Mexico and didn’t want to return to Texas.

Back in 2001 when Pat and Jimmie came to visit, they stayed with us for a few days.  We met up with Bill, DiVoran, and their family in Titusville for dinner one evening.  Bill agreed to escort them to Kennedy Space Center the next day, and the boys were excited by that prospect.  They went with Bill to KSC on September 10, 2001.  When 9-11 happened, I remember thinking, “WOW!  If they had been one day later, they wouldn’t have been able to get onto KSC, as everything was closed after the terrorist attack!”  I’m glad they were able to have a good day there.

Fred and I were able to meet up with Pat, Lee, and Gary last year on our road trip.  Here is a picture of them at the table at the BBQ place where we ate.

 

Cousin Gary, Lee – Pat’s wife, Cousin Pat

 

And on a recent trip, Bill was able to meet up with Pat and Lee for a meal.  He hadn’t seen them since that 2001 visit, when Jimmie was with Pat.

Family is always important, and these cousins have meant a great deal to my family.  I’m glad we have been able to stay connected all these years.

 

I thank my God every time I remember you

Philippians 1:3

 

1989 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Stepfather Sid, Cousin Pat, Aunt Jessie, Mother

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~The End~~~~~~~~~

I Remember… Cousins, Mother’s Side-Part 2

3 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

 We always made the time to go see my cousin’s family when we went to San Antonio for a visit.  I always thought their little house was an interesting house.  Turns out that it was actually hand-made – quite literally – by Lillie’s husband, Frank.  I think they added onto it as each son was born.  Aunt Jessie and Granny lived in San Antonio until about 1952, when they moved to Albuquerque.  We didn’t make as many trips to Texas after they moved to Albuquerque, so didn’t see the cousins as often.  I just remember how much fun we had playing together.

Here are a couple of pictures from 1944.  That’s me with my cousin Gary in Granny’s backyard in San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

And here’s one of Bill and Jimmie Mac in San Antonio.

 

 

 

Here’s one of the three sisters.

 

Granny, Lillie, Loa

 

I think it’s in front of Lillie’s house in San Antonio in 1950.

When Fred was stationed in San Antonio 1971-1974, we stayed with Aunt Lillie until we found a house.  Janet called her “Aunt Willie.”  Here’s a picture of Lillie and our girls.

 

 

Pat and his wife were living in the area, and we were able to see them frequently. We didn’t see much of Jimmie or Gary.

However, I remember one Christmas while we were there.  Aunt Lillie had invited our family to join hers at her house for Christmas Day, and so we went there.  Our Karen was probably six years old, and Janet was just a little thing – probably around 2½ years old.  All three boys were there, as well.  We had the traditional Christmas of opening packages, and the Christmas dinner.  While we were cleaning up from the meal, Janet was quite interested in the ornaments on the tree, and began examining them. Unfortunately, that meant pulling at them, trying to get them off the tree and into her hand.  I realized, just too late, what she was doing, when….down came the tree – ornaments and all!!  Fortunately, it didn’t land on anyone!  The boys came in from the kitchen and said, “well, I guess it’s time to take down the tree!”  We all pitched in and took off the ornaments and Christmas decorations and they hauled the tree outside.  I felt rather bad about it, but they assured me it was okay.

 

And I really want to tell you about the boy’s father, our Uncle Frank.  There are a couple of things that we’ve chuckled about through the years:

 

  1. For some reason, Frank decided that he was going to die when he was 40 years old. When he didn’t die at age 40, it made him mad….and he was mad for 30 more years.   He died in 1968 at age 70!

 

  1. We had a saying around our house – “I had one of Uncle Frank’s days today.”  And everyone would laugh.  It took a while for Mother and Aunt Jessie to explain that expression to me.  You see, he would come home from work (I never knew just what his work was), and proclaim that “well, I had a h***uvaday today, just a h***uvaday!”  So, even now, when we have a difficult day, we look at each other and say, “I had one of Uncle Frank’s days today” and know just what we mean.  It’s been a source of laughter in our family for quite a while.  I’ve told many friends about it, and they enjoy it, as well…and usually say it back to us!

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

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